Love is KIND.
They say you go through “stages” in grief. There’s the stage of denial, the stage of bargaining, depression, acceptance... the stage of anger.
As I’ve steered through my own relationship with grief I’ve learned, these are in fact, NOT stages.
You see, the idea of “stages” suggests there is some kind of sequence and time period applied. The problem with grief - it has no time line, it has no sequence, and it has zero predictability.
When you go through great loss, you are reminded often of “the stages of grief”. It‘s everywhere; in books, on podcasts, even from counselors. The best, getting asked, “how are you doing?” only to be immediately “comforted” with, “That’s totally normal! That’s one of the stages of grief!”
THIS ISN’T A STAGE, THIS IS MY CURRENT REALITY.
In my own experience of grief, I have not cycled through the “stages”. I have, however, felt all of the things, at all different times, and sometimes even all at once.
The one I have struggled with the most is anger. I’ve never been an angry person, so this overwhelming feeling of deep anger has been ridiculously hard to steer through. It’s not an emotion I enjoy. It’s not a feeling I know how to release. It’s not a place I like to be.
Yesterday, I attended Suncrest Family Worship Center where the local pastor gave a little bit of homework. He asked all in attendance to go home, read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 in three different translations, write down 1-2 things that stood out, and then spend the week focusing on those areas. The idea was to self-reflect on the areas you’re struggling in, then ask and trust God to cover you, and sit back and watch how God takes care of it.
Of course I pride myself on being a good student - so I went home and did the homework. ;)
Immediately, when reading through the versus, three things stood out to me:
-LOVE IS KIND
-It is not easily angered
-It keeps no record of wrong
When I read these words I knew this is where I needed more strength than my own. I needed God.
I read the versus and instantly had this ah-ha moment. I realize since my dad passed, I have not been kind... I have not acted in love... Instead, I have been so quick to anger and I have kept an internal log of every wrong I have felt since the moment I lost him.
Internally, I have fought the would have’s, should have’s, could have’s. I have built a case against life, what it has to offer, and how it screwed my dad, my family, and myself over. I’ve felt anger towards others and anger towards myself. I’ve let my mind run day and night, building a back log of why this is all so wrong and fucked up.
AND FOR WHAT?!
You see, it’s not a “stage” of grief I’m facing. It’s just GRIEF. In all the “stages”, in every painful point of this new reality, in every aspect, we can’t help by try and make sense of the non-sense. Yet, because it is NON-sense, there is no making sense of it. Of course, our tiny, imperfect, human brains can’t fully grasp this concept, so we try like fools anyways.
We do not know and can not understand it all.
So, I can sit in my grief and anger, and continue to waste effort and energy building my record of wrongs... OR... I CAN LET GO.
Love is kind. remember?
I have struggled to love since my dad passed.
I have struggled to love myself or to truly show love to others. I’ve been too busy being angry. I’ve been too busy keeping my records of wrong. I’ve been too busy grieving.
So this is where I insert God. This is where I give it to the universe. This is where I admit I am not enough. I need more. I need God.
God is love and love is kind. So this week, I will rest easy in his kindness. I release the anger. I demolish the records of wrong. They do not serve me and only bring me deeper in anger and further from love. I let go. Thank you God, for love. And for the unending grace which allows me to be the perfectly imperfect human that I am.
I’m not done grieving, and anger will likely still visit. I just can’t carry this on my own anymore. So this one’s on God. Thank you, God. 🙏🏼💚